7 Healthy Potato Recipes to Help You Lighten Up

7 Healthy Potato Recipes

Spring took its sweet time in a lot of the U.S. this year, didn’t it? It was a long, cold winter, but the sun is finally starting to peek through, and warmer days are upon us!

Warm weather means trading winter coats for shorts and t-shirts, swapping boots for sandals, and before too long we’ll be going to pool parties and planning summer beach vacations! After a long winter of hiding under bulky sweaters and heavy coats, you might not be bikini-ready, and now’s the time to start eating healthier to help your body bounce back!

When you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight, it’s really calories that count.

Choosing healthy foods like potatoes and sweet potatoes can help you feel full without breaking your calorie budget.

Did you know that a medium-sized potato has only 110 calories, and a medium sweet potato boasts a slim 103 calories? And a sweet potato has four grams of fiber, which is great for anyone trying to trim down without feeling deprived. Also, fiber helps your body feel fuller longer with fewer calories.

Potatoes and sweet potatoes are also fat- and cholesterol-free foods.

Ready to dive into some potato dishes before it’s time to jump into that swimming pool? We’ve got a few light, healthy potato recipes to help you meet your fitness goals….deliciously!

Light Loaded Baked Potato Soup
1. Lightened Up Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Blend up some fresh veggies with low-fat milk and cheese for a tasty spring soup! You can serve this on its own or with some whole grain bread for dipping for a satisfying, healthy meal. One bowl has just 159 calories!
 
 

Greek Salad Baked Potatoes
2. Greek Salad Baked Potatoes

Instead of cheddar and sour cream, try a different spin on the loaded baked potato, and top it with fresh veggies instead. A little bit of zesty feta cheese finishes off this quick, 211 calorie dish that won’t let your tastebuds down!
 
 

Sweet Potato Curry (MyRecipes)
3. Sweet Potato Chicken Curry

Sweet potato pairs beautifully with spicy curry seasonings in this light, one-dish meal that’s less than 200 calories per serving. Spoon it over brown rice for a little extra fiber to keep you feeling full.

Image Source: MyRecipes.com
 
 

Sweet Potato Spinach Quesadillas (Health)
4. Sweet Potato and Spinach Quesadillas

You can make this zesty dish even lighter by toasting your quesadillas in the oven or melting the cheese in the microwave instead of pan-frying. At just 391 calories per serving, though, you’re eating healthy any way you slice it!
 
 

Chili Lime Potato Tacos
5. Quick & Healthy Chili Lime Chicken Potato Tacos

Who doesn’t love taco night? Chicken and potatoes pair up with fresh vegetables and a zesty sauce for a supper that clocks in at just 220 calories per two taco serving. Best of all, you can mix it up with the many variations and make tacos just the way you like.
 
 

Sweet Potato Latkes (Women's Health)
6. Sweet Potato Latkes
A sweet take on this traditional dish, these sweet potato pancakes clock in at only 73 calories each. The secret? Instead of pan frying, you bake these up in the oven.
 
 

7. Quick & Healthy Garden Veggie Potato Salad

Spice up that traditional potato salad with plenty of fresh veggies to add vitamins and fiber without adding too many calories. The secret to this lightened up potato salad? We use Greek yogurt instead of fat-laden mayo.
 

5 Spring Potato Recipes: Taste the Healthier Rainbow

Spring Potato Recipes

Have you been trying to eat a little bit healthier this spring? After a winter of eating rich, heavy meals and snacks it makes sense that folks might want to health things up a bit in the food department. You might think that potatoes don’t have a place in a healthy eating plan, but that couldn’t be more wrong!

An average sized potato has only a lean 110 calories, contains almost half of your daily vitamin C requirements, and a skin-on potato has more potassium than a banana. Not too shabby for one humble little tuber, if we do say so ourselves!

Eat the Rainbow

When nutritionists talk about common-sense eating rules, one concept that we see stressed over and over is to have a rainbow of food on your plate. Those colors in different vegetables – including different potato varieties – often represent different vitamin and mineral content, so having an array of colors on your plate usually means that you’re eating a healthy, well-rounded meal.

1. Red

Add a splash of red to your next meal with some Bombay Potato Curry. Red potatoes pair up with nutritious tomatoes to deliver a vitamin A punch along with plenty of vitamin C and potassium.

2. Orange

Sweet potatoes and other orange vegetables are good sources of fiber and vitamins A and B. You can bake a sweet potato as a side to a meal, but you can also make it the star of the show! Fancy up your next baked sweet potato with our recipe for Sweet Potato Topped with Chicken Apple Sausage and Apples!

3. Yellow

The Mediterranean Diet has been getting a lot of buzz on the health front lately. According to a recent Spanish study, a Mediterranean diet rich in healthy fats like olive oil can dramatically improve heart health. Add some delicious, sunny yellow and healthy olive oil to your plate with a Mediterranean Sun Kissed Savory Salad!

4. Green

Spruce up your plate with a dash of iron and plenty of fiber and niacin with leafy greens! Our Spinach and Artichoke Two Potato Casserole packs that leafy green goodness into a tasty side dish. Even the kids will want to eat their greens!

Wait, what about blue? There aren’t many naturally blue foods, and most of them don’t pair so well with potatoes, so our little rainbow goes right from green to purple. Get your blue on during dessert with a yummy bowl of fresh blueberries and cream!

5. Purple

Purple potatoes might look a little bit different, but they have a nice, mellow potato taste that’s very similar to any other more conventional potato. Never cooked a purple potato before? We’ve got you covered with this Purple Potato Salad with Beets and Arugula!

Who says that eating healthy can’t also be delicious? Do you have a favorite healthy potato recipe? Tell us about it in the comments!

Potatoes: Good for You and Your Skin

Woman's Face

We know you know that eating potatoes with the skin on is good for you. You’ll get more nutrients like potassium and Vitamin C, plus extra fiber. And, you probably also know that cooking potatoes in their skin helps keep more of the nutrients locked in.

But did you know that potatoes (and their skin) are also good for your skin?

That’s right. Potatoes can be both a nourishing food and a fantastic mask.

Eating Them

Potatoes have what it takes to nourish skin from the inside out. One reason is the high copper content. One baked potato gives you 75% of the copper you need in your diet. In your body, copper joins up with zinc and Vitamin C to build the elastin fibers that support your skin (and counter wrinkles!). The Vitamin C in there is also an essential compound for protecting your skin from the damage cause by sun, stress, and damaging environmental factors like wind and cold.

Sweet potatoes also give your skin a health boost. Like other orange-y/reddish vegetables, they’re loaded with the antioxidant beta-carotene. Studies show beta-carotene can help protect your skin against sun damage by countering some of the effects of UV sunlight. UVA exposure has been shown to cause premature aging (wrinkles AND spots!). That’s probably why we’re seeing a lot of beta-carotene in so many cosmetic products.

Homemade Beauty Products

Of course, eating potatoes isn’t the only way potatoes can help you perfect your complexion. They also work wonders from the outside in, packing a powerful nutrient punch that may help your skin look more youthful and refreshed, helping to soften the appearance of lines and brighten and even out skin tone.

Mixing a facial mask isn’t like baking a cake: no real recipe is needed. Just shred a potato and hit up your pantry for other face-loving foods. Try mixing potato with honey, which has antibacterial properties and brings moisture to your skin. Or, add oatmeal, which is great for dry, irritated skin. Mashed avocado and/or shredded or juiced cucumber can also help sooth and soften. Just make a mask with what you have on hand, apply to clean, dry skin and leave in place for 20-30 minutes.

You can also pull out your juicer and make a potato face wash. Use a cotton pad or clean cloth and then rinse with water. This treatment can help clean away oil, dirt and bacteria. For added refreshment, chill your wash in the fridge for 30 minutes before using.

If you’re pre-mixing, remember that potatoes can oxidize quickly. You might consider adding a tad of lemon juice or vinegar to your concoction and storing it in the fridge in an airtight container. If you have sensitive skin, don’t go overboard there.

Here’s to a beautiful 2013!
 

Meatless Monday: A New Year Resolution Made Easy With Potatoes

Black Bean Chili Potato

Whether you’ve already made your resolutions or are still looking for something meaningful to commit to, we’ve got a good one for you and your family. It’s simple to work into your week but offers a big benefit. It’s called Meatless Monday.

What is Meatless Monday?

Meatless Monday means, for one day a week, you omit meat from your diet. Mostly, to us, it means planning and serving a meal that focuses on vegetables (think potatoes) instead of chicken, beef or pork. Why would you want to do that?

To Improve Your Health

Studies show that diets high in fruits and veggies may reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease, help curb diabetes and fight obesity, and also increase longevity—all good stuff.

To Take Care of the Earth

Because the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of man-made greenhouse gas emissions — even more than transportation — replacing meat in your diet helps reduce your carbon footprint. You’ll also reduce water usage (livestock require lots of it), and help reduce our fossil fuel dependence. Great, right?

Meatless Monday may also mean a lower-calorie dinner on Monday night, so it will fit with your fitness goals, and should save you some money at the grocery store, too.

Even Meat Lovers Can Do It

We are, of course, still meat and potato folks with meat and potato families. Yet we think Meatless Monday is a great idea. Most of us have at least one family member that would not be into tofu, tempeh or trying crazy new diets. As farmers, we work hard all day and need a dinner that both satisfies and fuels us up to work hard tomorrow. In fact, that’s where potatoes come in!

If you focus your meatless meal on potatoes, which are proven to make you feel fuller longer, your family may not even catch on to the fact that there’s no meat with the meal.

Are You In or What?

As an added incentive, we thought you should know one study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine showed that people with weekly health prompts and encouragement responded with improvements in their overall health, eating habits and physical activity levels. Ready to try out Meatless Monday? Here are some delicious potato recipes to help you get started with this easy New Year resolution.

Cheese and Trees Potato Soup

This would make a great Monday night meal. It’s fast, east and filling. Make sure you use vegetable broth or cubes. Look for low sodium for an added healthy boost. Serve this with a big salad that includes cheese, beans and toasted almonds or walnuts. Yum!

Thai Potato and Vegetable Curry

This soup uses a base of coconut milk, which is very tasty and satisfying. While you may be surprised at the fat content, don’t worry. It’s a good fat your body is more likely to use for energy then store around your midsection. This would be great paired with a side dish of whole, in pod edamame, which you can find at most grocery stores in the freeze section.

Baked Potatoes Topped with Vegetarian Chili

On Sunday, whip up your favorite vegetarian chili recipe. On Monday night, throw some PotatOHs in the microwave. Serve together with low fat sour cream or Greek yogurt, shredded cheddar cheese, black beans, chopped onion, cilantro, hot sauce, and whatever else you have on hand that might make a Meatless Monday meal even more awesome.

Are you already planning to do Meatless Monday? Let us know in the comments!

5 Healthy Vegetables To Cook With Potatoes

Fruit and Vegetable Heart

June is National Fruit and Vegetables Month, and with Americans eating almost 126 pounds of potatoes per capita each year, the potato is easily America’s favorite vegetable. We’re celebrating this special month by recommend 5 tasty veggies that make any potato dish truly delicious, and also help promote your body’s health.

 

Asparagus

This low-calorie and low-sodium perennial is a great source of dietary fiber, as well as many vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B6, which promotes good metabolism. You can roast, steam and stir-fry asparagus shoots, or even serve them raw as part of a salad.

Try a Recipe

Oven Roasted Red Potatoes and Asparagus

 

Broccoli

A good source for Vitamin C and dietary fiber, Broccoli offers many more health benefits, including anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-cancer properties, and helping to prevent heart disease. There are many ways to cook broccoli, but steaming is the best way to retain all of the good stuff that makes  Broccoli one of the healthiest vegetables around.

Try a Recipe

Cheesy Broccoli Baked Potatoes

 

Brussels Sprouts

Like broccoli, these funny-looking buds have anti-cancer properties and are also great sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid and dietary fiber. If you’re not a fan of bitter foods, add some butter, garlic and salt to even things out when cooking. Also, avoid boiling when cooking brussels sprouts, and steam, microwave or stir-fry to preserve most nutritional benefits.

Try a Recipe

Microwave Steamed New Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

 

Carrots

Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber, carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, and helps with immunity, bone development, vision and fighting different types of cancer. Carrots can be chopped, boiled, fried and steamed; and used as sides or in soups, stews and even salads; making them one of the most versatile vegetables you can eat.

Try a Recipe

Quick & Healthy Garden Veggie Potato Salad

 

Red Onions

The outer layers of red onions contain high amounts of flavonoids, which help to reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Red onions can be chopped and served raw with salads or sandwiches, and cooked to allow their sweet taste to give soups and stews a delicious flavor.

Try a Recipe

Quick & Healthy Microwave Baked Potato Salad

 

5 Reasons Potatoes Are Good For Your Heart

February is not only Potato Lovers Month — it’s also American Heart Month! Potatoes contain many wonderful ingredients that make them an essential part of a balanced diet, and many of them also help you maintain good heart health. To celebrate this special month, we’re sharing five reasons potatoes help your heart stay healthy.
 

1) Potatoes are cholesterol-free and have zero saturated fat

According to the 2010 Dietary guidelines by the USDA and Department of Health and Human Services, potatoes have no cholesterol or saturated fat. While many factors affect heart disease, diets low in cholesterol and saturated fat may reduce its risk.
 

2) Potatoes are a good source of potassium and low in sodium

Diets containing foods that include potassium and are low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Potatoes with skin are loaded with potassium — more than bananas, spinach or broccoli — and are naturally sodium free.
 

3) Potatoes are a good source of fiber

A medium potato with skin contributes 2 grams of fiber, which provides 8% of the daily value per serving. Dietary fiber has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including improving blood lipid levels, regulating blood glucose, and increasing satiety (makes you feel full longer), which may help with weight loss.
 

4) Potatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin C

Vitamin C protects arteries from the damaging effects of cholesterol. Potatoes rank in the top 5 of dietary sources of vitamin C for Americans, and provide 45% of the daily value.
 

5) Potatoes are a good source of Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is required for the synthesis of hemoglobin and essential component of red blood cells. It also helps reduce levels of homocysteine, of which high levels have been implicated in heart disease and stroke.

Pressed for time? Heart-healthy eating expert Christine Palumbo, RD explains how potatoes help with heart health in less than a minute.

What better reason to stock up on potatoes than to keep a healthy heart? You can even skip the trip to the grocery store — order PotatOHs in our online shop and we’ll ship them right to your door.

Sweet Potatoes: Exercise Superfood

Whether you’re a weekend warrior, athlete or bodybuilder, you need to eat foods that nourish you, are sources of lasting energy, and help with muscle recovery long after your workout is over. Sweet potatoes are a superfood that can do just that, and one that no exercise diet is complete without.

Below are three ways that sweet potatoes help your body stay in top shape so you can accomplish your fitness goals.
 

Energy

Muscles require carbohydrates for energy, and sweet potatoes are a great source, with a medium-sized one providing 24g.

In addition, sweet potatoes provide a healthy dose of complex carbohydrates, which take longer to be digested and help supply the body with energy over a longer period of time. Unlike simple carbohydrates — which break down fast into glucose for quick energy, and turn into fat stores that can cause weight gain when unused — complex carbohydrates break down into glycogen and are stored in the liver or muscles to be used as fuel for exercise.

They are also a good source of dietary fiber, which has a gradual, steadying effect on blood sugar, making sweet potatoes a sustained source of energy.
 

Muscle and Bone Function

With over 300mg in a medium-sized one, sweet potatoes are a good source of potassium, which is an electrolyte that plays a key part in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, and makes it crucial for proper digestive and muscle function.
 

Muscle Recovery

Sweet potatoes are highly packed with calcium, and iron, and are high in beta carotene, which, together with other essential antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E, helps with protect cells and muscles recover and regenerate.

In fact, sweet potatoes contain more vitamin A than carrots, and are the best natural source for beta carotene, as they provide more than any other fruit or vegetable.

 

References

Carbohydrates Burned During Exercises

Potassium

Sweet Potato Benefits for Bodybuilders

Top Athlete Nutrition Foods for Greater Performance and Energy Maximization

What Foods Are Good for Energy or Vitamins?

Sweet Potatoes: An Essential Part of Detox Plans

Were there times last year that you ate heavy and you wish you hadn’t? Have you been turning to comfort foods to cope with cold and long winter days, and now you’re not feeling so great? You may need to cleanse your system to flush out all of the bad stuff and get your body back to a good place through detoxification, and sweet potatoes can help.
 

What is Detox?

Detox is a process to eliminate toxins in the body, cleanse organs and replenish your system with healthy nutrients. This is accomplished by eating pure and natural foods that help clean the kidneys, intestines, lymph, liver and skin, and avoiding any foods that can set back or stop the process.
 

Choosing a Detox Plan

There are many ways to detox your body by adjusting your diet, and each plan varies in duration and the amount of food to consume. No matter how you detox, always begin by eliminating incoming toxins. Avoid alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, processed foods and even stress to give your body its best chance at a successful cleanse.

For more information and finding which detox plan is right for you, check out this detox answers and solutions guide. Whichever way you choose, always consult your doctor before beginning any detox plan.
 

Sweet Potato Health Benefits

It is widely known that sweet potatoes are nutritional all-stars. Below are some of the many natural ingredients found in significant levels in sweet potatoes that offer many health benefits and make an essential part of a detox plan.

Antioxidants: boost your immune system and help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease

Beta-Carotene / Vitamin A: sweet potatoes have four times the recommended daily intake of Beta-Carotene, which the body converts to Vitamin A, and helps with immunity, bone development, vision and fighting many types of cancer.

Complex Carbohydrates: take longer to be digested, helping supply the body with energy over a longer period of time

Dietary Fiber: improves cholesterol levels, regulates blood glucose, and keeps your body full longer

Low Calorie: with only 90-140 with skin on, sweet potatoes are easy on the calories

Manganese: facilitates metabolism, helps keep bones strong and healthy, regulates blood sugar levels, and promote optimal function of the thyroid

Potassium: diets high in potassium help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke

Vitamin C: helps with fighting infections, iron absorption, healing wounds, reducing inflammation and supporting the body’s immune system
 

Sweet Potato Detox Recipes

When putting together your detox plan, consider including these cleansing and nourishing healthy sweet potato recipes.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

This richly-colored, flavorful chili is the perfect meal for winter months. Immune-boosting garlic and onion, along with red pepper and lime, combine with black beans and sweet potatoes to make one very satisfying one-pot meal.

Healthy Baked Sweet Potato

Pair sweet potatoes with whatever vegetables you like, top it off with a tasty tahini-based sauce that uses metabolic-enhancing spices and you have a delicious and satisfying dinner that will keep things light on a simple detox diet plan.

Sweet Potato Mash with Chinese Broccoli and Ginger Dressing

A delicious vegan dish, with a good dose of antioxidants plus anti-inflammatory benefits from the ginger dressing. Particularly rich in Vitamin A, this dish will nourish the eyes and skin.

More healthy sweet potato recipes.

3 Natural Ways Potatoes Help Make Your Body Healthy and Happy

Naturally Fat Free

If you are aiming to eat well and lose weight in the new year, and thinking about cutting potatoes out of your diet, STOP! You’ll be missing out on the many superfood health benefits that make potatoes an essential part of a healthy diet and contribute to a weight loss plan.

Potatoes can have lasting and positive effects on your health and well-being. Here are three ways that naturally nutritious and delicious potatoes help your body stay healthy, happy and satisfied.

 

Potatoes help keep your immune system healthy

Vitamin C helps protect your body from infection by keeping your immune system healthy, and helps heal cuts and wounds (perfect if you’re ever a klutz while exercising at home or at the gym). Contributing a whopping 45% of your daily value, potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C.

Also, if you experience chronic illness or fatigue due to sensitivity to gluten, you’ll be glad to know that potatoes are naturally gluten-free!

 

Potatoes may reduce the risk of high blood pressure

According to the 2010 Dietary guidelines by the USDA and Department of Health and Human Services, diets containing foods that are a good source of potassium and low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.

Potatoes are loaded with potassium — more than bananas, spinach or broccoli — and are naturally sodium free.

 

Potatoes are a great part of a healthy weight loss plan

It’s calories that count, not just eliminating foods. Maintaining a good, healthy weight requires burning more calories than you’re taking in. Luckily, one medium-sized (5.3 oz) potato has just 110 calories that are a breeze to burn off. Also, potatoes are 100% fat-free and have zero cholesterol, making them a great meal that will fill you up, not out.

Potatoes also help you feel full longer and eat less. Studies show that potatoes are one of the most filling foods available and stave off hunger better than other common sides, such as pasta, rice and bread.

One wholesome, satisfying potato contributes 2 grams of fiber to the diet, 8% of the recommended daily value. Dietary fiber has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including improving blood lipid levels, regulating blood glucose, and increasing satiety (makes you feel full longer), which may help with weight loss.

Lastly, potatoes contribute 10% of your daily value of vitamin B6, which plays important roles in carbohydrate and protein metabolism, and turning food into energy.